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The dam is located in Uncanoonuc Lake off Mountain Base Road in Goffstown. (Melissa Proulx/Union Leader Correspondent)

Funding challenge arises in dam rehab project

GOFFSTOWN — Some financial hurdles will need to be overcome before work can begin on the rehabilitation of a dam in town, but officials remain hopeful it won’t delay the project.

Selectmen met with Public Works Director Meghan Theriault earlier this week for an update on the Uncanoonuc Lake dam rehabilitation project. A request for proposals had been put out last month.

Therriault said they had five responses and are looking to work with Atkinson-based Busby Construction Co. Inc. They proposed to do the project for around $267,000.

But in pricing out the project, Busby estimated the cost too low, leaving the town with a shortfall of about $92,000. Therriault said they were not aware of the shortfall until last month when a different engineering firm looked at the cost.

At the March town meeting, residents voted to raise $230,000 to help pay for the project.

Rather than asking residents to raise more money for the project, town officials are looking at other parts of the municipal budget to make up the difference, officials said.

For example, there’s about $52,000 left over from various capital improvement projects budgeted for this year. If that money is not allocated to the dam project, it will be returned to the general fund at the end of the fiscal year.

Officials said having money left over for CIP projects is common, as trade-in values for different vehicles or other items lead to some significant savings. Budgeting for the full price of a replacement is required as a safety measure, said Town Administrator Adam Jacobs.

The discussion of how to fund the project will continue at the Dec. 18 selectmen’s meeting.

The Uncanoonuc Lake dam failed a state inspection five years ago. In 2012, the town received a letter of delinquency from the state Department of Environmental Services about the dam, citing breaks and spalls in the concrete of the dam which needed to be sealed.

The work will consist of installing a new spillway system, which is what controls the flow of the water. This includes the concrete drop inlet riser, the outlet barrel and new outlet headwall. The embankment will also be built up from what is there.

During this time, a new cofferdam, which will control the water flow, will also be installed.

Work will take place this summer.

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